UK: C19-They must tell the whole truth

Wednesday, 20 July 2022 — Goodlaw Project

We are today seeking urgent clarification from the Government that it is not planning to fatally undermine the official Covid Inquiry. According to an article published by Bloomberg, the Government is trying to block essential information from being passed to the Inquiry.

The Government has reportedly begun directing officials to use a traffic-light system that would mark as ‘red’ politically-sensitive or embarrassing documents, which they will seek to withhold.

The Inquiry is meant to provide answers for the UK public and for the many thousands of people who lost loved ones during the pandemic. It should be an opportunity for the Government to examine its actions and reflect on the failings in its response to ensure they are not repeated.

The Government’s reported plan would represent a shocking attack on transparency and accountability, and a betrayal of the victims of the pandemic, denying families the answers they clearly deserve.

It would also, we believe, be unlawful and open to challenge by way of judicial review.

You deserve to know the full truth about the Government’s Covid-19 response.

If you agree, please share this video with friends and family and help us raise awareness about this campaign:

Click or tap to play the video - Covid Inquiry

Or you can forward them this email or copy this link and send it to them:

The basis in law for the Covid Inquiry is the Inquiries Act 2005. The Act does not allow them to disappear documents just because they relate to discussions of policy, or might expose the Government to criticism or political embarrassment.

We’ve written to the Cabinet Office, asking them to confirm whether or not the Bloomberg report is accurate.

They have until 25 July to clarify the steps they’re taking to prepare for the Inquiry and whether there are any documents that the Government plans to withhold from the Inquiry or ask the Inquiry to hide from the public. We also want to know the legal basis for their decisions to restrict access to any relevant documents.

The Government’s failings, particularly during the early part of the pandemic, are well-known. There are vital lessons to be learned and questions of accountability to be answered. The whole, unvarnished truth must come out.

We won’t hesitate to act if the Government fails to reassure us that the Covid Inquiry will have unfettered access to all documents.

Read our letter to the Cabinet Office in full here.

We will keep you updated with the Government’s response.

Thank you,

Jo Maugham – Good Law Project

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